Inspired by “Ramzor Nigun” by Deborah Sacks Mintz
“There are gates in heaven that cannot be opened except by melody and song.”
—Attributed to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Women’s earthy hai yai yo chant,
shruti box, drum — “Ramzor Nigun,”
I add it to the playlist / prayer I made
for my niece’s wedding in Tel Aviv
in an autumn of knife attacks
Shalom / Salaam
Hai yai yo, Shneur Zalman’s “tones
dismantled of words” that tune the soul.
Women’s unison blossoms to harmony.
One voice ascends, ahhhhh,
seeks hidden places.
Dancing, I follow.
Ramzor comes from
Remez — hint, metaphor,
allusive perfume in the
garden of TorahThe Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general.
& Or — light.
Genius of modern Hebrew,
ramzor also means traffic light,
ordinary, so ubiquitous that CAPTCHA
makes you mark traffic lights
to prove you’re human.
Brilliant, the way they
choreograph transits of
coveted territory, the
crossing all wish
We grumble, rage,
blast horns. Still we
tzimtzum — cede
space, lift up our
eyes, awaiting a
hint of light.
The ramzor turns green.
Hai yai yo!
Each in our turn,
we dance into